Saturday, 24 December 2011


Modified comments from YouTube
lagu ini digunakan oleh malaysia semasa konfrontasi dengan indonesia 1963/1964 dan Indonesia mempertaruhkan lagu 3 malam nyanyian Lilis Suryani... betapa pengaruh lagi dalam meningkat motivasi perajurit...  pencipta lagu ni ialah Allahyarham Dato' Hj. Wan Othman Al Khatib
Kucupan Azimat by Ahmad Jais

My comments:
I wasn't in school yet at the time of the Konfrontasi. I was living in Banda Hilir, Melaka. Our family moved to Alor Star, Kedah some time in 1964, and I attended school for the first time in January 1965.

Moinudeen Chishty

Dargah is a Persian word. A Dargah is a shrine constructed for a sage or saint.

Dargah, makam, mausoleum, shrine, keramat are various terms used to refer to places where people come to pray, offer prayers or read doa. More about Dargah.

The general understanding is prayers are made and the deceased person can carry that up to the Supreme Creator. In Islam the Supreme Creator is Allah SWT. This is the Sufi way. However, the Wahhabi will not accept this and say it is not right to do so (tawassul) in Islam.

These are contrasting views of praying at graves (from Ziyarat in Wikipedia): 

Wahhabi views
The majority of Wahhabis believe that visiting the graves of saints should be classified as shirk and bid'ah except the visiting of the tomb of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. in Madinah which may be done during Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage. However, it is not a required. They point out to the following sayings of Muhammad as an evidence for their belief.
Narrated by 'Aisha : Umm Salama told Allah's Apostle about a church which she had seen in Ethiopia and which was called Mariya. She told him about the pictures which she had seen in it. God's Apostle said, "If any righteous pious man dies among them, they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it; they are the worst creatures in the sight of God."
The most evil of mankind are those who will be alive when the Last Day arrives and those who take graves as places of worship.”
It is also reported in the most authentic books of Sunni Islam that Aa’ishah (wife of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.) reported:
Had it not been so, his (i.e. the Prophet’s) grave would have been in an open place, but it could not be due to the fear that it could be taken as a mosque.
Sunni scholars declare that the purpose of visiting the graves and cemeteries is only to remind people of death and a curse be upon the Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.
  • “...Beware that those before you took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship, for verily I forbid you to do so.”
  • “The most evil of mankind are those who will be alive when the Last Day arrives and those who take graves as places of worship.”

Sūnnī or Sufi Views

The purpose of visiting a grave is to gain llim (divine knowledge), tafakkur and to pray for the person in the grave, but if the person in the grave is a Prophet or a Awliya (friend of God), fayd and spiritual benefits can be gained from their souls. The person who is visited, must be thought of as if he is alive and must be visited with the same good manners.

" The event of death is like moving from one house to another for the friends of Allah, the same good manners, respect and high regards must be shown to them, as when they were alive." Abdul Hakim Arvasi, Rabita-i Serife, 23-24; Halidiyye Risalesi, 58-60.
" Neither kissing the grave or moving the hands over the face after touching the grave for blessing, is suitable to the good manners (adab)." Gazali, Ihya, IV, 711.
" Hz. Rasulullah (s.a.w) has given the good tidings that the Angels say "AMIN" for the prayers which are performed for the brothers and the Awliya and Allahu Taala accepts them (at the exact moment)." Buhari, Edebu'l-Mufred, No:623; Ebu Davud, Vitr, 29.
" Visiting the grave is a duty which is performed for Allah's pleasure and visiting the grave of a father and mother on a Friday is appropriate ." Gazali, Ihya, IV, 711.

Whatever views Muslims hold, there is an interesting name which I have in TEMD that is connected to a book which I use for teaching History of Medicine. This book was written by a Sufi named Moinuddin Chishty. I still use the book for teaching traditional medicine. This has to do with rose oil as the rose is thought to have connection with the Great Prophet, Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. - even the Prophet's sweat smelled of roses.

When I was writing the biography for Dr Burhanuddin al-Helmy, his information contained a city named Ajmer in India. Google-ing Ajmer gave me the largest and most important Dargah in India - this is the Chishty Dargah in Ajmer.

History has it that even Shah Jahan came to Ajmer and he had donated to the Dargah. The Chishty Dargah is important in supporting the lives of Indian Muslims from far and near. 

Where I grew up in Malacca, there is Pulau Besar off the coast. This Pulau Besar is famous for one thing - it contained very long graves of Muslim sages/saints. At certain times, people would go to the graves, bringing along pulut kuning with chicken etc. I have not observed this in person but I read about it in the papers. These offerings were left at the graves. At one time, this practice of bringing offerings to the graves was banned by the Malacca State Government.

In Singapore, there is the shrine of Habib Noh. His tomb is placed high up and a concrete staircase leads up to the tomb. I've not been to the tomb but I heard from one of the descendants of Habib Noh in Penang, that he was a very important person (VIP).

In Kampung Kolam in Penang, just behind the Masjid Kapitan Keling, lies a dilapidated mausoleum (makam usang) that houses the tombs of Cauder Mohinuddin, his mother and younger brother, Nordin. There are other graves too. I was told that there is a pious Indian Muslim lady buried here too - a female saint.

At the large cemetery bordering Perak Road in Penang, there are 2 mausoleums, a dilapidated older makam, and a more recent makam. I was told by the graveyard caretakers that both the deceased persons were great saints. The more recent makam is that of Datok Keramat, for whom Jalan Datok Keramat was named. Jalan Datok Keramat was once a famous road as it had a tram line running the length of the road. The older makam belonged to Datok Keramat's teacher (I could have this info reversed). The boys who looked after the graves were young Tamils, either Muslims or non Muslims. In another part of this massive cemetery, an old Tamil Muslim looked after the graves.

At certain parts of the large Muslim cemetery at Kubor Banggol in Mukim Banggol outside Kota Bharu, Kelantan, there were similar happenings at the graves. There were dolls planted and offerings made next to the graves. I read that Kubor Banggol was an early settlement at the time when Kelantan was first opened by the Malays (probably of Tamil descent). So it is likely that these graves that I saw with offerings were from the same or similar Indian Muslim or Tamil Muslims. I don't know because I didn't see anyone at the graves or I could ask them.

I would take it that the Indian Muslims/Tamil Muslims are Sufi people and that Sufism is handed down or practised among family members and close friends. Among the Malay Muslims, Sufi activities are limited to male circles, and they join up with the Indian Muslims/Tamil Muslims who are more well-versed with Sufi practices. I may be wrong though.

These are keramats in Malaysia (from Ziyarat in Wikipedia):
  • Shrine of Syed Shahul Hamid, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Ismail Nagore, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Noordin Sahib, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Syed Mustapha Idris a.k.a. Dato' Koyah, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Wali Mohammed Salleh, Batu Uban, Penang - frequented by Naqshabandi Malays
  • Tomb of Syed Ibrahim al-Hashimi, Gelugor, Penang
  • Darga of Syed Lal Shah Bukhri (Jalan Hang Tua in masjed) Kuala Lumpur
  • Darga of Sultan ul Arifeen Syed Ismael Shah Aljillani (Pulau Besar) Melaka
  • Darga of Fikir Baba Maulana Miskin (Chulia St, Penang)
These are keramats in Singapore:
  • Shrine of Syed Shahul Hamid
  • Tomb of Wali Habib Noh - frequented by Malays and Naqshabandis
  • Shrine of Hazrath Khwaja Habibullah Shah at Kubur Kassim on Siglap Road near Chai Chee in Singapore.
Moinudeen Chishty

Indian Muslim Communities

Are the Tamil Muslims similar to the Malay Muslims?

The Aqidah of the Tamil Muslims is based on Sunnah basically influenced by the Sufis. Tamil Muslim families are patrilocal though their marriages incorporate Islamic mahr practice. For instance, it is common to see a groom pay the bride mahr sum of 10,000 rupees and the bride in turn would pay the groom a dowry sum of 100,000 rupees, though practice of dowry is banned by Islamic doctrines.

Tamil Muslims practice monogamy and male circumcision.

Like the thali of Tamil Hindu brides, Tamil Muslim women wear a chain strung with black beads called Karugamani which is tied by the groom's elder female relative to the bride's neck on the day of nikkah.

As a mark of modesty Tamil Muslim women usually wear white thuppatti (from Hindi/Urdu duppatta) instead of the black burqas (that are popular among Urdu-speaking Muslims) which is draped over their whole body on top of the saree. This has remained a hurdle in genealogical research.

Almost all Tamil Muslims go to Qabr (Dargah) ziyarat which is an important Sunnah.

The global purchasing power of Tamil Muslims in 2005 was estimated at almost $8 billion viz. $3 billion in Tamil Nadu, $1 billion in Malaysia, $600 million in Singapore.

Tamil Muslims have historically been money changers (not money lenders) throughout South Asia and South East Asia.

Generally Tamil Muslims are involved in various trades like retail, mutton shops, shops in foreign bazaar. They are also involved in gems trade & leather industry.

Due to the plenty opportunities in the Gulf region, a lot of Tamil Muslims went to the Gulf. Now Tamil Muslims are spread over in the Gulf countries and also in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

The Tamil Muslim community is a prosperous one. There are about 400 millionaires within the community and at least one billionaire viz. B.S. Abdur Rahman (better known as the Buhari Group) who constructed the conglomerate ETA Star Group, Chennai Citi Centre, Chepauk Stadium, Marina Lighthouse, Valluvar Kottam, Government General Hospital, Gemini Flyover, Crescent Engineering College, et al.. He owns over 70 ocean-going vessels (ships).

Source:  Tamil Muslim (Wikipedia)

Benjamin Henry Sheares

Benjamin Henry Sheares, GCB (12 August 1907 – 12 May 1981), was the second President of Singapore for 11 years (3 terms). More at

Professor Benjamin Henry Sheares was elected the President of the Republic of Singapore on 30 December 1970. He succeeded the late President Yusof bin Ishak who died in Nov 1970.

Prof Sheares was born in Singapore on 12 August 1907. He was educated at St Andrews's School and Raffles Institution before joining the King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1923. Dr Sheares BH qualified with LMC degree in March 1929 (Morais 1972: i; Lee 2005: 113). 

LMC = Licentiate in Medicine and C___ for what? (a certificate or diploma?)

LMS = Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery ( a diploma and not a degree)

Morais JV. (1972). Who's Who in Singapore. page i
Lee JS. (2005). To Sail Uncharted Seas. page 113

In 1931 he began his career as on obstetrician and gynaecologist (O&G doctor). In 1940, he was awarded the Queen's Fellowship but could not go because of the Japanese war. The Queen's Fellowship was for 2 years postgraduate study.

During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, he was HOD O&G, Kandang Kerbau Hospital. 

After the Japanese surrender, he was acting professor until May 1947 when he went to London. In London he passed as a MRCOG (Member of the Royal College of O&G) in January 1948.

In December 1951, he went to the US as part of the remainder of the Queen's Fellowship study leave and spent one year observing in-teaching in San Francisco, Chicago, St Luois, New York and Boston.

He was reading for the FRCS when he was recalled in March (when? 1949?) to act as professor. He became Professor of O&G, UM in Singapore in January 1950. Prof Sheares was the HOD O&G, UM in Singapore until June 1960.

He then entered into practice in June 1960. In July 1960, he was gazetted honorary consultant of Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Singapore.

Address since 30 Dec 1970: Istana Negara, Singapore.

He married Yeo Seh Geok, a migrant who came to Singapore in 1938. They have 3 children - Constance Alice Chengliu (born 1963; 27 in 1970, 68 in 2011) who holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from London U and a MA degree from Singapore; Joseph Henry Hinggiam who hold the degrees of MA, MBCHB from Cambridge; and Edwin Charles Hingwee (21) then a 3rd-year student of liberal arts at Nottingham.

The above text is reproduced with modification for web browsing, based on The Who's Who in Singapore 1971-1972.

Prof Sheares was a colleague of another O&G doctor, Datuk Dr Ariffin bin Haji Ngah Marzuki (Perak).

Dr Ariffin meeting up with his Professor of O&G (Professor BH Sheares) at the International Rotary Meeting 1974-75, Singapore. Photograph courtesy of Datuk Dr Ariffin Ngah Marzuki. 

 Professor BH Sheares (12 Aug 1907-12 May 1981)
Professor of O&G
2nd Singapore President 30 Dec 1970-12 May 1981)

Prof Sheares had introduced the Sheares procedure for creating artificial vagina for those who did not have one, and which became necessary in transexual operations. Datuk Dr Ariffin introduced his own intrauterine device (IUD) when he worked in Ipoh. The IUD used a coil of nylon thread.

TJ Danaraj

TJ Danaraj was a graduate of the KE VII Medical College in Singapore. He wrote many books. Some of his books are listed below.

Japanese invasion of Malaya & Singapore: memoirs of a doctor
Danaraj TJ
Form: Book

Language: English
Published: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: TJ Danaraj, 1990

Available from Yale University Library

TJ Danaraj
Medical Education in Malaysia: developments and problems
TJ Danaraj

His biography can be found in The Who's Who 1963, pages 70-71:

Morais, JV (Editor & Publisher). 1963. The Who’s Who 1963. Malaysia and Singapore.
[USM Call No: Rujukan r DS 595.5 W628]

I did not take a photo of his biography in The Who's Who 1963.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Journeys Across Seas

View or Download at:

'Coolie' trade and the Far East

National Museums Liverpool
Maritime Archives & Library
T & J Harrison Ltd
History 1740-c.2003

Research Notes for Shipping Enterprise and Management 1830-1939,
by Francis E. Hyde (cont) 1820-1969

To view the line 'Coolie' trade and the Far East between 1877 and 1914,  
scroll down to more than half the page at:

The above notes are from the Liverpool Steamship Owners' Association.

I have requested on 13 March 2012, a Yahoo! Answers on the topic, to see if anyone can provide further leads on the coolie trade and especially one person, named Ballah, later Shaik Ismail. The link for this request is here:


  1. Hugh Tinker, A new system of slavery: The export of Indian labor overseas 1830-1920 (1974)
  2. Janet Ewald,  ‘Crossers of the Sea: Slaves, Freedmen, and Other Migrants in the Northwestern Indian 
  3. Ocean, C. 1750 - 1914.’ American Historical Review 105, no. 1-42, 2000. 
  4. Ravi Ahuja (2006) ‘Mobility and Containment: the voyages of South Asian seamen, c.1900 – 1960’, 
  5. International Review of Social History 51, Supplement, pp. 111–141 
  6. Rozina Visram  Ayahs, Lascars and Princes: Indians in Britain 1700-1947, (1986)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

UK Archives Network

The UK National Archives offers public access.

The National Archives, UK

British Library, Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections 1600-1948

British Library: Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections (previously Oriental and India Office Library) Archon Code : 59

Contact Details  
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 020 7412 7873
Fax: 020 7412 7641 


Rulers of British India

You may wonder who were the British Rulers in British India. Here is a website that has the answer:

Robert Clive (1757-60) (1765-67)
Warren Hastings (1772-85)
Lord Cornwalis (1786-93)
Sir John Shore (1793-1798)
Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)
George Barlow (1805-07)
Lord Minto – I (1807-13)
Lord Hastings (1813 – 23)
Lord Amherst (1823-28)
Lord William Bentick (1828-35)
Sir Charles Metcalfe (1835-36)
Lord AuckLand (1836-42)
Lord Ellenborough (1842-44)
Lord Hardinge (1844-48)
Lord Dalhousie (1848-56) 1850s: Start sending Indian convicts to Penang, Malaya, Singapore
Lord Canning (1856-62)
Lord Elgin (1862-63)
Lord John Lawrence (1864-69)
Lord Mayo (1869-72)
Lord Northbrook (1872-76)
Lord Lytton (1876-80)
Lord Rippon (1880-84)
Lord Dufferin (1884-88)
Lord Landsdowne (1888-94)
Lord Elgin-II (1894-1899)
Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
Lord Minto II (1905-10)
Lord Hardinge II (1910-16)
Lord Chelmsford (1916-21)
Lord Reading (1921-26)
Lord Irwin (1926-31)
Lord Willingdon (1936-43) 1934: Stopped sending Indian convicts to Penang, Malaya, Singapore
Lord Linlithgow (1936-43)
Lord Wavell (1943-47)
Lord Mountbatten (1947-49)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Who's Who

Information about the early Malay doctors can be found in 5 volumes of the Who's Who.

Who’s Who 
1.      Fisher, JS. 1925. Who’s Who in Malaya 1925.
2.      Fisher, JS. 1939. Who’s Who in Malaya 1939.
3.      Morais, JV. 1963. The Who’s Who 1963. Malaysia and Singapore.
4.      Morais, JV. 1965. The Who’s Who 1965. Malaysia and Singapore.
5.      Morais, JV. 1972. The Who’s Who 1971-1972. Malaysia and Singapore

The Who's Who collection should be available in major libraries and university libraries.

USM Library:
The Who's Who is available at USM library:
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut 1 (PHS1),
Reference Counter, second floor,
USM Main Campus, Penang.

Mohd Ikhwan Ismail, Pustakawan,
Bahagian Rujukan dan Penyelidikan,
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut 1 (Kaunter Rujukan, Tingkat 2),
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang.
Tel: 04-6533888 ext. 3891 or 04-6533891

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Family Medicine in Singapore

Dato Seri Di-Raja Dr Syed Mahmood bin Syed Hussain Jamalullail was a member of the College of General Practitioners of Singapore.

A group of family physicians in Singapore wanted an institution to enshrine and promote the values and ideals of family medicine.

The College of General Practitioners Singapore was officially inaugurated on 30 June 1971.

It was renamed ‘College of Family Physicians Singapore’ on 17 November 1993.

More at:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Majlis Bacaan Yasin dan Tahlil

Assalamualaikum Warga Staf Kampus Kesihatan.

Saya bagi pihak keluarga Allahyarham Ayahanda Prof Syed Mohsin menjemput Warga Staf Kampus Kesihatan bagi Majlis Bacaan Yasin dan Tahlil pada tarikh yang berikut;

Tarikh : 17 Dec 2011 (Sabtu).
Masa : Lepas Isya'
Tempat : Rumah Keluarga kami.

796, Taman Hidayah,
Kampung Huda,
12500 Kota Bharu.

Atas kehadiran Staf Kampus Kesihatan Pihak Keluarga mengucapkan terima kasih.

Semoga Allah memberkati Warga Staf USM.

Dr Syed Hasanul Hadi Syed Mohsin.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


The Dutch occupied the Indonesian islands and ruled Indonesia before the Indonesian independence. They set up schools, including two for training of medical doctors. The medical schools were set up at Batavia and Surabaya on Java island. The first medical school was Sekolah Dokter Djawa or later known as the School Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Artsen (STOVIA) at Batavia. The second school was Netherland Indies Medical School (NIAS) at Surabaya.

Milestones of Dutch VOC medical schools in Indonesia:
  • In 1851, the first medical school, Sekolah Dokter Djawa, was opened by the VOC in Batavia, Java. It trained 20 Javanese men. Two more men joined later.
  • Dokter Djawa was later renamed STOVIA.
  • In 1912, a second medical school, the Netherland Indies Medical School (NIAS), was opened in Surabaya, Java.
  • Local Indonesian women were allowed to attend the two medical schools (STOVIA and NIAS) after the first Dutch female doctor, Dr Aletta Jacobs, intervened and met with AWF Idenburg, the VOC Governor-General, on 18 April 1912.  She pushed for local women to be allowed to be accepted into Sekolah Dokter Djawa and to be trained as doctors.
  • The first Indonesian woman to graduate from Sekolah Dokter Djawa was Dr Marie E. Thomas (1896-1966). She was born at Likupang, near Manado Minahasa. She was from the Minahasa tribe of Manado. After 10 years of medical studies, she graduated in 1922. She worked as a midwife (bidan; Midwifery is now Obstetrics). She first worked as an assistant obstetrician at Weltevreden on the outskirt of Batavia. 
  • Dr Marie E. Thomas married to Dr Mohamad Yusuf, who was from Solok, Sumatra. He too graduated from Sekolah Dokter Djawa. He worked as a private doctor (ophthalmologist?) in Padang, Sumatra. Dr Mohamad Yusuf's private practice went bad and he was incarcerated at Penjara Struiswijk. He died in 1958.
  • Dr Marie had worked as a Government doctor in Padang till 1931 when her husband was working in Padang.
  • Dr Marie returned to her homeland, where she joined the Dewan Persatoean-Minahasa in 1932. She died in 1966. It is unknown if she had any issue.

External links:

Dokter Djawa


Dr Marie Thomas (1896-1966)

Minahasa, Manado

Overview dan Sejarah Kurikulum Pendidikan Dokter Indonesia
by Dr Masrul, Unand, Indonesia.

Aishah's (medical student) blog on STOVIA (Museum Kebangkitan Bangsa)

Koleksi Sejarah Kesehatan Indonesia

Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde
(Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies)
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands
KITLV is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

{We have not yet got anything written about the History of Medicine in Malaysia. It will be great if someone can write on this topic.}

Thursday, 1 December 2011


MMA building, 12 May 2007

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) was set up in 1951. It is the national association for medical doctors.

On 30 November 2011, the Star reported that the MMA was given a six-month reprieve to put right its activities concerning 2 issues - mismanagement and election of its office bearers.

The MMA was de-registered by the Federal Territory Registrar of Societies (FT RoS) as it did not comply with the Societies Act 1966.

The MMA has appealed for the withdrawal of the de-registration.

More on MMA gets six-month reprieve(the Star, Bernama)

Address: Malaysian Medical Association, 4th Floor, MMA House, 124 Jalan Pahang, 53000 Kuala Lumpur.